Monday, August 30, 2004

 

A New Cold War Update

Yesterday, India tested an Agni II surface-to-surface missile capable of carrying nuclear weapons.
The trial, on the testing range on Wheeler Island off eastern Orissa state, was the third trial of the Agni II, which has a range of up to 2,500 kilometres (1,560 miles) and can carry a warhead weighing up to a tonne. (Guardian)
Pakistan was informed of the test before hand and there does not seem to be any great increase in tension between the two as a result of the test. Also, in missile testing news, photos of Iranian tests run three weeks ago indicate that the Shihab-3 missile has been upgraded to allow slower entry into the atmosphere (to better protect the warhead) and to increase its range.
It is also likely that the Iranian effort is not limited to the Shihab-3, which has a range of about 1,300 kilometers, but also to the Shihab 4, planned with a range of 2,000 kilometers or more.

At present the Shihab-3 can already come within range of Turkey, which is a member of NATO, as well as most Saudi Arabian cities and oil fields. On the last test of the Shihab-3 on August 11, the missile did not pass the maximum trajectory that had been determined for it.

[...]

In addition to the new warhead, the missile was fired from an operational vehicle and not from an ordinary surface launcher. In all the other Shihab-3 tests, the warhead was cone-shaped, but this time it has a new, flatter shape and appears to have various short wings. (Ha'aretz)
These developments might not be front page news, but it seems to me that for all the talk of making us safer from WMDs, the Bush administration has seemed disinterested in non-proliferation and diplomatic efforts to keep nuclear tensions to a minimum. For all the talk of "the greatest threat" being the possibility of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of terrorist groups, it seems to me that the more likely threat comes from the continuing development and proliferation of nuclear arms among state actors. I must say that I am much more afraid of nuclear weapons in the arsenals of Israel, Iran, Pakistan, and India (not to mention the United States and North Korea and, still, Russia) than I am of the possibility of al-Qaeda somehow setting off a "dirty bomb." Let's get serious. When it comes to WMDs, the Bush administration points to Libya and Iraq as its success stories. That is laughable. In the context of the articles above, the 'dismantling' of 'WMD-related programs' in Iraq (Meaning what? A few sarin gas canisters left over from the Iran-Iraq war?) and the same in Libya (where we managed to spare the world from hundreds of aluminum tubes... that were incapable of being turned into centrifuges for nuclear material) proves the dismal failure of the Bush administration when it comes to real threats to the security of the whole world.

Comments:
Yes!

Did you see David Brooks' bloviation in today's NYT? He can't be bothered to think or write about anything like this; he's like all about courage, doncha know.
 
i think david brooks has been watching a few too many arnold movies. since when was arnold courageous anywhere but on the big screen? what a joke.
 
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i was just browsing through the blog world searching for the keyword posters and it brought me to your site. You have a great site however it is not exactly what i was looking for. Good luck on your site. sincerely, antonio.
 
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